05 Is this a new model for a design agency?

By Samantha Clark, Senior Media Consultant

Imagine a design agency where you only work on projects you love. On your first day at work they ask you a series of questions to find out what you’re passionate about. Want to save India’s endangered tigers? Fancy rebranding Boris Johnson? He could do with some help. Or just have a penchant for custard-based desserts? It sounds like a dreamland filled with unicorns.

For every design agency the development pipeline includes work that pays the bills. And this also enables the team to take on projects that they get their creative kicks out of.

At Nicer Tuesdays’ July event we heard about an agency where creatives only work on projects they love: Lovers. And it got us thinking: could this be a new model for design agencies? As a society we’re increasingly focused on living well, from healthy eating to a working environment that makes us happy. What the talk from Lovers highlighted was how important it is to have the opportunity to work on projects you care about in the whirlwind of agency life. And agency leaders are all too well aware of the importance of giving their employees the time to work on projects that inspire them but don’t necessarily bring in a lot of money. It’s crucial for recruitment and staff retention.

Alex Ostrowski, Founder and Creative Director of Lovers, told the audience at Nicer Tuesday: “Basically it’s Utopia. What’s the point of working on stuff you don’t care about or doesn’t feel good? It’s a waste of time!”

For one lucky designer at Lovers, Paul, this meant he was given the opportunity to work with environmental charity Greenpeace to help tackle climate change and reduce Coke’s use of plastic. So, did the campaign make a difference?

Alex told the audience Greenpeace had helped to effect policy change at Coke, thanks to its diplomacy, tactics and this campaign – no doubt the powerful creative from Lovers played its part too. What an incredible feeling to have helped to make the world a better place.

This month’s Nicer Tuesday also featured talks from illustration and animation duo Cabeza Patata, photographer Alice Mann and filmmaker Deepa Keshvala. With a line-up of exciting and wide-ranging creative talks curated by It’s Nice That, the event takes place in east London’s Oval Space. For more information on Nicer Tuesdays visit https://www.itsnicethat.com/nicer-tuesdays

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